The Best In Reggae Rock
Who are your biggest musical influences?
Leilani: I come from a very musical family. My cousins are The Jets. They were probably my first influence as a child. My biggest influence is Sublime. That band captured my love for both punk and reggae. Covering songs from Bob Marley, Bad Religion, Grateful Dead (my other influences) and making them their own. They even use hooks from Porgy and Bess the Opera...genius. I guess I'm influenced by artists like that, the ones that write timeless music that transcends genres.
What inspires your song-writing and the music you make?
Leilani: Life is my inspiration. I want to experience a song, have it put me in a mood. I want to feel something.
What message do you hope to spread through your new album, Rebel?
Leilani: I hope Rebel will introduce me to new listeners. I'm not sure if there is only one message I want to spread. With "Herbivore" and other songs, I don't want to be known as "the weed girl". I'm not saying everyone should get high. I'm more saying "Think with your own mind". Hopefully, I spread a message that woman can be strong, smart, and have something real to say.
E.N. Young (Roots Musician Records) produced your new album. How was it working with such a creative and talented artist?
Leilani: E.N. Young is the bomb. LOL. Yes, he's a genius. Yes, he's super talented...but did you know he's also a hula dancing champion? LOL. I have the word "ami" (a dance move) in my song and showed him how to do it. It was a funny sight, him in the studio ami'ing. I died. It was fun working with him. We just vibe in the studio. We are a great team.
You've previously shared the stage with some amazing artists such as Ballyhoo, Dirty Heads, Tribal Seeds, Fortunate Youth, etc. Who were some of your favorites to tour with? What was your most memorable experience?
Leilani: Fortunate Youth was fun. I did some cities with them in Florida and that's how I met them. We hung out like we were old friends. It was cool. Best memory of touring was with my brothers when I was in their band Hor!zen. We were doing a run with the Supervillians and it was my first tour. Packed in a van with my brothers was very special for me. I loved clowning with them and singing to the radio. We developed a close bond.
If you could pick one artist to work with in the future, who would it be and why?
Leilani: Damian Marley because he's my everything.
How would you best describe your style of reggae/music?
Leilani: My style of music is an infusion. I take risks. I don't follow the "rules". It's music. It's freedom.
What is next for you?
Leilani: I'm looking forward to the Roots Musician Tour coming in September.
Make sure to grab Leilani's new single "Herbivore" on iTunes today and also her new album Rebel, will be out July 15th!!!